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14.5.2006

The HCJ rejects petitions against the Law of Citizenship and Entry into Israel (Temporary Order): the law, one of the most condemnable Israel has ever passed, aims to prevent family unifications of Israeli citizens and residents with their spouses who are residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is a discriminatory act of legislation which denies a large section of the Israeli public the ability to freely choose a life partner and build a family on the basis of ethnic-national origins

On May 14, 2006, in a vote of six to five, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) rejected the petitions against the Law of Citizenship and Entry to Israel (temporary order), including that of HaMoked. In a majority opinion, Justice Cheshin ruled that the law does not harm any constitutional rights, and if such harm exists, it is proportionate. In a minority opinion, President Barak ruled that the law harms the constitutional rights to family life and to equality; that it violates the Israeli spouse's right to build a family with his partner in Israel; and also harms the right of the Israeli parent to have his minor children live with him in Israel.

HaMoked's petition HCJ 10650/03 - Abu Gwella et al. v. The Minister of Interior et al., was among the petitions against the law which the court considered together. This petition focused on the law's harsh implications on the fate of children of East Jerusalem residents. Whether born in the Occupied Territories or, for various reasons, registered there after being born in Israel, these children are defined by this law as group which threatens the state's security. The amendment to the Temporary Order, dated July 7, 2005, contains provisions regarding permits to be given to children of different ages. The arrangements allow separating a child aged 14 to 18 from his parent and younger siblings and deporting him to the Occupied Territories if even a distant relative is held to be a "security threat" in the opinion of security officials. No explanation was ever given to the fact that the law applies to children of East Jerusalem residents. In judgement, the HCJ justices completely ignored the threat this law poses to the fate of these children. In his ruling Justice Cheshin found the arrangement in their matter to be "satisfactory".
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